Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vintage Coca-Cola memorabilia: Original or fake?

Bottles, trays, openers, tiny cars and trucks, calendars and signs are just a few of the pieces Coca-Cola has produced over the span of its 126-year history. While these marketing and advertising items were never intended to be collectors’ items, their presence in people’s lives has gained them sentimental as well as real dollar value the world over. And for some people, amassing Coca-Cola keepsakes has become a lifelong passion.

Valuable, early pieces of Coca-Cola memorabilia are often reproduced or faked. Fortunately knowledge of Coke's changing designs can often help to date and authenticate pieces, as many fakes are not accurate. Further confusion arises as some companies who produced Coke advertising in the early 20th century used outdated logos. Pieces by such companies may seem to be earlier than they are but they are not actually fakes.Compare your piece to authenticated originals in reference books and look for differences in the detail. If you can't find an authenticated example of your piece in a reference book, you may have what is known as a 'fantasy'. Such pieces were never released by Coke and have been subsequently invented by forgers.

Forgers sometimes produce Coca-Cola items such as gumball machines, cash registers, penny scale or cast iron banks and toys. But, one should know that these items are pure fake for the simple reason - Coca-Cola company never produced any of those items. So it is impossible to find them as the authenticated items.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What makes antique fashion valuable?

As more and more people buy into the vintage trend, distinctive and well-made fashion accessories have increased in value. The greatest prices are likely to be paid for pieces made by couture houses, but stylish items from other makers can be surprisingly valuable too.

If you are planning to sell, bear in mind that while some collectors buy shoes and accessories to record developments in fashion or because they like the work of the particular designer, most people buy to wear. For many, wearing a vintage accessory is an easy way to add an individual touch to a modern outfit and there is a young and enthusiastic market for pieces such as handbags, scarves, shoes and ties.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Antique copper, brass and pewter

Today many copper, brass and pewter items are obsolete because people are no longer using these objects. However, because they add visual warmth and charm to a home, attractive pieces in good condition still appeal to collectors.

17th century Dutch brass candlesticks
Copper and brass objects became common in the home during the 17th and 18th centuries and these early pieces are the most desirable for buyers today. Items from the 19th and the early 20th centuries are typically not as valuable. Many people keep their brass and copper highly polished, which removes patina. Unlike silver, most brass and copper objects were unmarked until the Companies Act of 1862. This can make dating difficult, but not impossible, if you know what you are looking for. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dating antiques: Late 19th-century style

As the century progressed, and countries such as Italy and Germany became unified, a sense of nationalism pervaded in Europe. This led to a revival of the dominant styles of the previous 500 years, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. New methods of mass production made goods more affordable and available but it also provoked the Arts and Crafts movement as a reaction against it.

Motifs from architecture

The first of these revival styles was Neo-Gothic. Motifs taken from architecture, such as pointed arches, latticework and quatrefoils, and heraldy, were used on furniture, fabrics and tablewares. Stained glass was revived for domestic use.

In France and Italy, there was a return to the Renaissance style. Oak and walnut furniture was carved with spindles and fretwork. Meissen and Sèvres produced porcelain decorated with classical figures, grotesques and scarabs. In Britain, many factories began making a form of richly glazed ceramic known as ‘majolica’. Its name was based on that of maiolica, a type of tin-glazed earthenware produced in Italy from the Renaissance period.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The object of the day: Flowers on a marble ledge by Elise Bruyere

Flowers on a marble ledge (1776 to 1847 France)
by Elise Bruyere  (1776-1847)

Oil on canvas

26.00cm wide 37.00cm high (10.24 inches wide 14.57 inches high)


Description / Expertise
Élise Bruyère was the daughter of Jean-Jacques le Barbier, who was a noted writer, illustrator and painter of French historical scenes. Both Élise and her sister, who was also a painter studied with their father and subsequently with Jan Frans van Dael in his studio at the Sorbonne University. She exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1798 and was to become highly regarded in the male dominated art scene of the early Nineteenth Century, winning a second-class medal in 1827.
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